Students learn best when they attend school regularly. Attendance is directly related to academic success and is required under the Education Act of Ontario.  As a school, we promote regular attendance, have a duty to monitor attendance, and investigate why a student may be absent.

Safe School Arrival/Attendance/Messages:

Parents are asked to call the school before entry time (9:05 am) to inform the office staff if their children will be late or absent. A message may be left at any time on the 24-hour voicemail attendance line (613-584-3361) or a written note sent to the teacher/office or email to

In order to protect the instructional time of our students and teachers, should there be a last minute change to your child's routine (i.e. signing out for an appointment, early pick up or not taking the bus), please email the school office at (prior to 3:00 pm) and we will ensure the teacher receives the message.

Specifically, the expectations for Mackenzie students are:

  • All students age six and over are expected to come to school prepared, on time, and ready to learn.  All students are expected to be in class on time with the materials required for learning. It will be referred to Administration if a student is repeatedly late to school or class.  
  • A parent or guardian must call the main office if their child will be absent on a particular day.  You can call the school at any time to leave a message indicating your child's name, grade, teacher (if elementary), and reason for absence.
  • Parents can also send a note or email with the reason for the absence.  Secondary students must bring the note to the main office by 8:10 am.  Elementary students may give the note to their teacher. 
  • Students who must leave the school during the day are expected to report to the main office to sign out with a dated note from a parent/guardian.  Students who become ill during the school day should obtain the permission of the teacher and report to the main office.  The main office will assist the student in contacting their parent/guardian for permission to sign out of school.
  • As part of our Safe Arrival program, parents will be automatically called that day for unexplained absences.  We wish to ensure the safe arrival of all students at Mackenzie.  A call to elementary parents will occur in the morning.  Secondary parents will be called in the evening to relay any absence.  We ask that parents respond to the call immediately to provide a reason for the absence.


Students may be excused from attending school if:

  1. They are ill or need to attend an appointment.
  2. The school is closed due to a Government Act, regulation, or Holiday.
  3. Bus cancellations.
  4. Participation in a private music instruction for up to a half day in any week.
  5. Participation in an educational experience, such as legislative page or exchange program.
  6. The student is excused or under suspension.

Student attendance is regularly monitored by our school support counsellor, student success team, teachers, and administration.  Phone calls and interviews will be conducted with the parents and student present to discuss chronic absences.  If absences/tardiness is prolonged or habitual, a success plan will be created to support the student in attending regularly.

For specific information on school and board level interventions, please refer to Administrative Procedure 330-Student Attendance Management (PDF).


  • A truancy is an absence which is neither excused nor a business absence. Parents/guardians of a truant student will be informed and appropriate progressive discipline consequences will be discussed.
  • Students who develop a pattern of truancy will be referred for counselling. A student who misses an assessment, while truant, will need to complete a similar activity. Teachers are expected to conduct an interview with the truant student in an attempt to correct the behavior. The teacher involved will contact the parent or guardian and if necessary refer the student to administration.
  • If the student persists in being truant, the parents will be informed and the student will eventually be removed from the course. Please note that an extended pattern of truancy may result in external suspension.

Maximum Absences Secondary Classes

The secondary system is set up by semester.  This means that students take 4 classes from September to the end of January, and another 4 classes from February to the end of June.  Course content is compressed into a five month block.  It is essential to be at school regularly to stay on top of course work and to ensure that credits are achieved.

Students and parents will be notified when there is a total of 12 to 15 absences in a given course. Students will be advised that their credit will be at risk if they accumulate more than 20 absences. Administration will review cases with more than 20 absences that are referred by the appropriate teacher.